Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) Virtual Training (Oct 2023)

This live virtual training will take place October 10, 12, 17 and 19, 2023 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT with Barbara Baumann, Ph.D., and David Kolko, Ph.D., ABPP. We are applying for CEs through professional organizations. This will be an interactive and participatory training experience with pre-work and action period assignments that build participants’ skills at implementing AF-CBT. 

Attendees should have an active caseload appropriate for AF-CBT and be ready to apply the model. Supervisors are welcome to attend training. If supervisors are not carrying their own active AF-CBT cases, we will work with them to meet the training requirements.
Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT;, is an intervention to improve family relationships for those experiencing high conflict/coercion, harsh/punitive discipline, child physical abuse, and/or child behavior problems.

Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) is a trauma-informed, evidence-based intervention designed to improve the relationship between children and their caregivers by addressing individual and family problems relating to: 
     • Family conflicts   
     • Behavior problems, including physical aggression
     • Anger and verbal aggression, including emotional abuse
     • Harsh physical discipline, physical aggression, or child physical abuse, or
     • Child trauma-related symptoms secondary to any of the above

These patterns may be shown by an individual caregiver or a child/adolescent, and/or by the family.   Therefore, AF-CBT targets the caregiver, child/adolescent, and the larger family context. 

AF-CBT involves three phases of treatment:
     1) Engagement and Psychoeducation, 2) Individual skills building, 3) Family applications.

Who is Appropriate for AF-CBT?
AF-CBT is appropriate for a broad range of families. The following general criteria have been developed to facilitate the identification of families who may benefit from this intervention.

     • A child, age 5-17, can participate now or soon
     • A caregiver (e.g., biological, adoptive, foster, or kin) can participate now or soon
     • Both caregiver and child have an adequate capacity or repertoire to learn/benefit from AF-CBT
     • The Family has frequent conflict(s) and/or arguments OR
     • A Caregiver shows anger (hostility), uses physical force/discipline (coercion), and/or has allegation/history of child physical abuse OR
     • A Child shows anger, has behavior problems (e.g., defiance, aggression, explosiveness), has trauma symptoms/PTSD after physical discipline/abuse, and/or has prior exposure to harsh discipline/physical abuse
A case is eligible if ALL 3 Background Criteria and 1 Clinical Criterion are met.


1. Describe the intervention model and its content to families in a manner that engages and motivates treatment participation.

2. Implement specific techniques to decrease parent and child aggression, family conflict, and child PTSD symptoms related to physical violence (e.g., complete no-force agree-ment, safety planning, imaginal exposure).

3. Initiate discussions about abusive/aggressive experiences with children and caregivers and follow up with social skills training, social support planning, positive family commu-nication, problem-solving routines, and child behavior management training.

Prospective AF-CBT trainees must be mental health professionals with a Master's degree or higher. Trainees are asked to commit to implementing AF-CBT with at least 2 families during the course of the training year so they should have an active caseload ready to apply the model. 
AF-CBT should be conducted by individuals who have been formally trained in the model and who are familiar with the content, methods, assessments, and fidelity tools that are required to ensure effective implementation.

There is a free 2.5 hour pre-requisite video course, “Foundations of AF-CBT” which must be completed prior to training. You may access this here 

CE’s are provided for the pre-requisite course through Please send your certificate documenting completion to Kevin Rumbarger at by October 2, 2023. 

To register for this information call, you will need an NCA Engage account. If you do not have one, visit NCA Engage Getting Started page for step-by-step instructions to request an NCA Engage account. The account request form will include a field that asks for an Organizational ID number. The Organizational ID number will inform us that the person signing into NCA Engage is employed at or partnered with a member organization. Please email if you need your Organizational ID. If you are not employed at or partnered with a member organization, please enter MH22 as your Organizational ID for non-member access to NCA Engage. Non-member access will provide access to the training. 

If you need any disability accommodations for this call, please reach out to Rachael at

There is a cap of 50 attendees for this training. You must be paid in full to count toward the participation cap. It is strongly recommended you pay with credit card to ensure your spot is secure. If you plan to pay by check, you must email to let us know you are sending a check. The check must be received by September 19, 2023

If registration is full, this means that our capacity has been met. Please email and we will add you to the waiting list. 

The cost for the training is $450 and includes 4 training days, 12 consultation calls, and the AF-CBT Session Guide, Third Edition, Revised. A Spanish language session guide is available upon request.  You may use NCA grant funds for this training. Your spot will not be reserved until payment is received. If you are paying by check, please mail ASAP to ensure your spot. 

To pay by check, select "check" under payment method during check out. After checking out, please save your invoice or email confirmation. 

Mail your check and invoice, payable to National Children's Alliance, to:

National Children's Alliance P.O. Box 71477 Washington, DC 20024 

Your name and AF-CBT must be on the check memo or on a note with your check, otherwise it will not be approved. Do not mail checks to the former NCA office address, please use the PO Box listed above. 



Day 1 Link to Alternative for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) Virtual Training
10/10/2023 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  360 minutes
10/10/2023 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  360 minutes
Day 2 Link to Alternative for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) Virtual Training
10/12/2023 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  360 minutes
10/12/2023 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  360 minutes
Day 3 Link to Alternative for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) Virtual Training
10/17/2023 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  360 minutes
10/17/2023 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  360 minutes
Day 4 Link to Alternative for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) Virtual Training
10/19/2023 at 11:30 AM (EDT)  |  360 minutes
10/19/2023 at 11:30 AM (EDT)  |  360 minutes
AFCBT Evaluation
7 Questions
Certificate of Attendance
No credits available  |  Certificate available
No credits available  |  Certificate available

David Kolko, Ph.D., ABPP

Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science

David J. Kolko, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  He directs the Special Services Unit at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, a program devoted to the development and dissemination of evidence-based practices for children/adolescents who are victims and/or perpetrators of physical/sexual aggression being served in diverse community settings, such as juvenile justice, child welfare, pediatric primary care, and mental health.  He is co-developer of Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT;, an intervention to improve family relationships for those experiencing frequent conflict/coercion, punitive discipline, child physical abuse, or child behavior problems.

Dr. Kolko is board certified in Child and Adolescent Psychology (ABPP) and a Fellow of the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (Div. 37), the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Div. 53), and the section on Trauma Psychology (Div 56) of the American Psychological Association.  He served 2 terms on the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), was Co-Chair of its Research Committee, received its Research Career Achievement Award for 2001, and received its William Friedrich Memorial Award in 2014. 

 His treatment research interests include the study and treatment of child abuse/family conflict, child behavior disorders/antisocial behavior, including firesetting and sexual offending, and the integration of pediatric behavioral health services in primary care practices and family health centers. 


Barbara Baumann

Assistant Professor

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Dr. Barbara Baumann, PhD is a clinical and developmental psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is a national trainer and consultant with the team that has developed and disseminated Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT). She is also the developer of Alternatives for Professionals (AFP), an intervention designed to assist case support professionals in engaging and working with families exhibiting high levels of aggression or child physical abuse. To date, she has conducted over 50 synchronous in-person and online trainings in AF-CBT and trained clinicians and supervisors from across the United States and the world, including Singapore, Egypt, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Kenya, and Bermuda. 

Ashley Fiore, MSW, LCSW

National Trainer

National Children's Alliance Institute for Better Mental Health Outcomes

Ashley Fiore has worked with CACs throughout her professional career as a clinician, clinical director, program manager, trainer, and consultant. She has assessed and treated over 2,000 children and families using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Alternatives for Families Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT). Prior to joining NCA, Ashley served as clinical faculty for the North Carolina Child Treatment Program, where she trained TF-CBT and provided individual and group consultation to clinicians using a learning collaborative model. She has expertise in the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based, trauma focused, child/family interventions. Ashley is a certified trainer in TF-CBT and AF-CBT and has provided training/consultation on trauma-informed comprehensive clinical assessments, trauma-related problematic sexual behaviors in children, and implementation support of evidence-based treatment models. She received her MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill, and enjoys gardening, making pottery, and hiking in her free time.